By Edd K. Usman
The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has issued a new Visa prepaid card that serves as a ?beep? card, which can be used to pay for transportation services around the metro.
BPI partnered with Ayala Malls, AF Payments Inc., and tech firm Gemalto to launch recently the ?Amore Visa Prepaid Beep Card? at the terminal of the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) bus along EDSA and McKinley Street in Makati City.
BPI and its partners timed the launch for the bank’s 165th anniversary this year.
The Amore card is a reloadable prepaid card that can also be used for shopping in Ayala malls and wherever Visa is accepted, and as payment for MRT/LRT, BGC Bus, HM Transport?s Airport Loop bus, Citylink, and Frohlich Point to Point (P2P) bus fares.
As the first issuer of a hybrid prepaid product that has beep and a Visa EMV chip, the product boasts to be the first lifestyle loyalty and transportation card in the Philippines.
BPI said it came up with the idea about the new card after noting that card payment in the country is becoming more popular as urbanization expands.
Simon Paterno, BPI head of financial products and services, cited the bank’s attention to the needs of its clients.
“By fusing banking and transport together, shoppers can enjoy cashless payments for their purchases at Ayala malls, plus the benefits of beep which will soon be extended to other bus services,” he said.
Cardholders also stand to receive shopping rebates of four percent for every P1,000 worth of purchases in BPI-affiliated Ayala malls establishments.
“With only 31 percent of all Filipinos holding a banking product, integrating beep with a prepaid payment card opens up opportunity for BPI to tap into a readily available and vast unbanked market,” said Paterno.
Topping up the Amore prepaid card be done at LRT and MRT Stations, Bayad Center, Tambunting Pawnshop, Villarica Pawnshop, and SM Business Centers.
The card costs P200 (pre-loaded with P100 if bought at BGC Bus terminals) and is valid for four years. While the card can be loaded, withdrawing its load is not allowed.